The emotional outbursts your senior loved one with dementia displays can be upsetting for both of you. Seniors with dementia tend to act out when they want their caregivers’ attention or are feeling discomfort. You may also find there’s sometimes no obvious reason for your loved one’s challenging behavior. While you might feel like throwing your hands up in frustration, there’s a simple way to get your loved one’s behavior under control. Using the art of distraction is an effective strategy that can redirect your loved one’s attention to a new and acceptable activity. Below are a handful of the most effective distraction techniques dementia caregivers can use.
Start a New Activity
One distraction technique that works for many dementia caregivers is to simply ignore the negative behavior by starting a different activity. This method works because your loved one will forget what he or she was doing and choose to get involved in the new activity instead. Creative caregivers can often employ the use of books, movies, or exercise to redirect their loved ones’ attention to more uplifting activities.
Change the Lighting
Agitation may be the result of your loved one being upset by something in the environment. For instance, he or she may be bothered by a glare coming through a window. Your loved one might also be upset if a shadow is causing a hallucination, or he or she may just be mad that it’s too dark to see the puzzle he or she is working on. Try dimming or brightening the lights according to the situation. Just a simple change in the environment could cause your loved one to calm down.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Carmichael seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Play Some Music
There are many ways music can be used as a distraction. If you need your loved one to do something, ask him or her by singing a silly song. Singing a favorite song may lighten everyone’s mood. Create a playlist on your computer or mobile device if you cannot carry a tune, although singing totally off-key and loudly may change your loved one’s mood.
Even if you’re able to complete a task all by yourself, asking your loved one for help may work as a distraction. After all, we all need to feel needed. Some simple but distracting tasks include folding laundry, picking up around the house, and doing dishes.
The cognitive challenges that accompany dementia often leave aging adults unable to manage everyday tasks, which puts their safety and health at risk. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Make a Joke
Humor often works as a great distraction for seniors with dementia. Make sure the humor is suitable for your loved one’s intellectual level. Funny family stories often work great. If you have an extra minute or two, take it a step further and show your loved one a funny video clip you find online. This strategy is so effective you might want to collect a small library of funny videos or jokes to share with your loved one.
Caring for a loved one with dementia is a challenging task for anyone. The responsibilities can sometimes feel overwhelming, but help is available. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Carmichael elderly home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (916) 485-4663 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.